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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary

Media Advisory
February 10, 2011
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Reporters invited to Inmate GED Graduation Ceremony at Homestead Correctional Institution (C.I.) on February 11, 2011

WHAT:Nine (9) inmates from Homestead CI will be presented with their General Education Diplomas (GED) on February 11, at 2:00 p.m.  Reporters are invited to the graduation ceremony and to film/interview the graduates and teachers, some of whom are inmates themselves. The GED test consists of five parts and is similar to a high school diploma. To earn a GED, one must pass a five-part test consisting of reading/language and writing (including an essay), math, social studies and science.  If you fail just one part of the test, you do not earn a GED, but can retake the part you failed at a later time.

WHERE:Homestead C.I., 19000 S.W. 377 Street, Florida City, FL  33034
New Visitors Pavilion (just beyond the Control Room Checkpoint).

WHEN:2:00 p.m. Friday, February 11, 2011

WHO:Inmates at Homestead CI. Homestead CI is an adult female offender facility located in Miami-Dade County.  It currently houses 679 inmates ranging from community to close custody levels.  Inmates Melissa M. Hicks and Shameka R. Blue have earned distinction as class Valedictorians.

WHY:Inmates have a better chance of staying out of prison if they have an education. (Studies show inmates who have a GED when released recidivate at a rate 7.9% less than inmates overall.) The number of Florida state inmates earning GED certificates has nearly doubled in three years, increasing from 1,313 in FY 2006-07 to 2,603 awarded in FY 2009-10. The increase in GEDs earned can be attributed to several factors, including more frequent testing cycles to catch problem areas early; implementing voluntary literacy programs at our work camps; and the use of trained inmate Teaching Assistants.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: If you would like to attend, please contact Kathy Conner at (772) 468-4068 or 559-4426 so a background check can be completed.

DIRECTIONS TO PRISON: Take Turnpike to last exit south (to Florida City); turn right at first light (W. Palm Drive), go straight for two miles to 4-way stop (Tower Road). Turn left on Tower Road and drive for 1½ miles to the next 4-way stop (SW 376th Street). When you pass that stop sign, you will see the institution on left side of the road. Make a left at 377th Street onto institutional grounds.